With every transition, proper mindset and preparation is key to overcoming obstacles, and the 2020 school year is no exception. Whether your school district is starting off the year exclusively with distance learning, going back to in-person learning five days a week, or they’ve settled on something in between, CTFCU has you covered.

Here’s our complete guide to helping you prepare your child for the new school year in these unconventional times.

Talk to your child about what to expect

The more aware your child is about the dynamics of the upcoming school year, the easier it will be to cope with any changes. As the situation evolves, and you learn more details about the school’s procedures, speak to your child about what to expect. For example, if your school’s administration has decided to continue in-person instruction with daily temperature checks, let your child know ahead of time. Being upfront about their expectations will assist with the transition.

Create a sanitization protocol to keep your home safe

If your child will be going to school full-time, or even partially, it’s important to establish a sanitizing ritual for them to adhere to when they walk through the front door after each day of school.

“When children return from school, they should immediately sanitize their hands,” advises board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Candice W. Jones. “Once at home, at the very least, they should remove clothes/shoes and place them in the laundry, or in a designated safe place for disinfecting.”

Talk to your child about this daily disinfecting routine, and run a practice round or two to make it easier to remember when school starts.

 Zooming in on remote schooling

Many states and school districts have announced the continuation of distance learning for the start of the new school year. Dr. Linda Carling, an associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University, shares these tips for helping children succeed at remote learning:

  • Encourage movement. Squeeze in some stretching breaks throughout the school day and pencil in larger chunks of time for longer exercises, like a bike ride around the block. If your child finds it particularly difficult to sit still for long periods of time, set up a tablet or laptop on a raised surface and have your child stand through their classes.
  • Reduce distractions. Create a distraction-free zone for your child’s learning to help boost their focus. Noise-canceling headphones can also be helpful to drown out auditory distractions.
  • Adjust your schedule as needed.  Many younger children need constant or intermittent guidance to help them with their remote learning. If possible, adjust your own schedule so you can be on hand to help your child as necessary.
  • Use a checklist for focus. A basic visual checklist of tasks that need to be completed can help children focus. Draw up the checklist with your child at the beginning of each day and have them cross off tasks as they’re completed.
  • Each time your child successfully follows instructions, provide immediate and positive feedback.

Get the school year off to a great start with these preparatory tips for you and your child.

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